Agreed!

What is the concept of teen privacy?

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Answer:

Privacy is a difficult issue for both teenagers and their parents. On one hand, teens need privacy to mature and become independent people. But on the other hand, too much privacy can be harmful. Parents of teens should therefore strive to find a balance. This means that parents should respect their child’s space and possessions, while still regularly checking up on the teen.

One example of finding a balance is with suspected alcohol or drug use. If parents suspect such activities, they should not overreact and invade the teen’s privacy, such as by rummaging through his or her possessions. But parents should not avoid the situation either. An ongoing conversation between the parents and teen is a more effective approach.

Social media has changed the way teens deal with privacy. Because social networks are public, many teens have lost their privacy. Certain posts on Facebook, for example, could damage a teen’s standing with his or her peers. Furthermore, many parents join the same social networks as their children do as a way to spy on them. Social media is a way of life and may teach teens valuable lessons about responsibility and good behavior.

Overview

Privacy is important for teens because it allows them to develop independence. It also helps them to mature and build self-esteem. Parents who give their teens enough privacy display trust. This trust becomes increasingly important as teens desire to do more things independently. Parents who afford their children privacy also show that they respect their children’s space and possessions.

A good example is when parents let their teens maintain their own bedrooms, such as keeping the space clean. This shows teens that parents respect them and their privacy and also trust them with the responsibility. However, parents should still regularly check up on the teens and their rooms. Teens may in fact fail to properly look after their rooms. In this sense, parents should be careful not to give teen children too much privacy.

Another good way for parents to check up on their teen children is to ask questions. If a teen is going out somewhere, his or her parents should ask where the teen is going; with whom; and for how long. Asking questions such as these builds trust between parents and teens and also helps teens develop a sense of responsibility. However, teens may resent being asked too many questions. Parents should therefore find a balance, seeking information occasionally or whenever they believe a teen may be in danger.

Harmful Activities and Teen Privacy

Teen privacy is especially important when it comes to harmful activities, such as alcohol use and drug use. Parents who suspect such activities may overreact and invade a child’s privacy. For example, parents may secretly go through the teen’s personal possessions. This may lead to more defiant behavior from the teen. Other parents who suspect alcohol or drug use may refrain from taking any action. These parents may choose to avoid conflict, often because they fear a negative reaction from the teen for being questioned. Parents should therefore talk to teens about drugs and alcohol while still respecting the privacy boundary. This can be an ongoing conversation that lets teen know parents are concerned. Children whose parents teach them about the risks of drugs are about 50 percent less likely to use drugs.

Social Media and Teen Privacy

With the advent of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, privacy has diminished. Social networks generally have public forums and traceable activities. In fact, given Facebook’s privacy rules, anyone can see another user’s status updates, images, and videos, unless that user opts out. This makes teens susceptible to harmful online behavior. For example, posting a provocative photo on Facebook may stigmatize a teen because of the public nature of the social network.

Social media also allows parents to spy on their children. For example, many parents join Facebook to be able to see what their children post and with whom they communicate. In fact, a study by the Education Database Online revealed that the main reason for joining Facebook for about half of all parents on the social network was so they could spy on their children and their children's friends. The study also found that nearly all of these parents monitor their child’s profile on a daily basis. Parents typically check their child’s status updates, photos they post or are tagged in, and location check-ins. These monitoring activities may be detrimental to teens. Social media has become a way of life, and parents should not try to protect their teen children from that fact.

In the end, social media teaches many teens a lesson about online privacy and being responsible on the Internet. Many teens learn—perhaps through their mistakes—that social media is public, and some mistakes cannot be erased. Teens may come to realize the things they should not share on social networks and how not to behave.

Bibliography

Barker, Joanne. “Teen Privacy: When to Cross the Line.” WebMD. WebMD, LLC. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/parenting/teen-abuse-cough-medicine-9/teen-privacy, http://www.webmd.com/parenting/teen-abuse-cough-medicine-9/teen-privacy?page=2, http://www.webmd.com/parenting/teen-abuse-cough-medicine-9/teen-privacy?page=3>

Blackwell, Rachel. “Invading Your Teen’s Privacy—Nosey or Caring?” Parentdish. AOL (UK). Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <http://www.parentdish.co.uk/teen/invading-your-teenagers-privacy-nosey-or-caring/>

Drexler, Peggy. “Why Teens Need Privacy Online.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC. 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-gender-ourselves/201312/why-teens-need-privacy-online>

Witmer, Denise. “How Much Privacy Does My Teen Need?” About Parenting. About.com. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <http://parentingteens.about.com/od/familylife/f/teenprivacy1.htm>

Witmer, Denise. “Should Parents Check Up on Their Teen?” About Parenting. About.com. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <http://parentingteens.about.com/od/familylife/f/teenprivacy5.htm>

Witmer, Denise. “Why Does My Teen Need Privacy?” About Parenting. About.com. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <http://parentingteens.about.com/od/familylife/f/teenprivacy3.htm>

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